Tuesday, September 1, 2009

196(9) At A Time - Page 35

This page features two of my all-time favorite nicknames

#302 - Jim Pagliaroni Hatless Jim came to the A's after the move to Oakland, so I'm not sure why Topps doesn't have a picture of him with a hat. His career was on its last legs, as he was sold by the A's to the Pilots after 14 games with Oakland. In Seattle, he hit .264 in 110 at bats. The Pilots released him after the season, and he never played in the majors again.

#303 - Cal Koonce
As a 21-year-old rookie, Koonce was 10-10 for the Cubs in 1962. He would never win that many games again, and after going back and forth between the Cubs and the minors for several seasons, he was sold to the Mets in August, 1967.

#304 - Padres Rookies
After brief appearances with the Indians in 1964 and 1965, Bill Davis made it back to the major leagues in 1969. Thank you expansion! He hit .157 in 33 games and was traded to the Cardinals, but never played for them or any other big league team again. Clarence Gaston was a star for the Padres for several seasons, but his biggest success came as the manager of the world champion Blue Jays in 1992 and 1993. I'm not sure when he started going by Cito, but as a player I only remember him as Clarence

#305 - Dick McAuliffe
The starting second baseman for the 1968 world champs finished 7th in the MVP vote. He only played in 74 games for the Tigers in 1969, so I would assume he was injured. He's holding the bat in a pretty strange looking stance.

#306 - Jim Grant
He has one of the great nicknames of the page, Mudcat. Grant is shown in an Indians uniform, though he was traded away from Cleveland in 1964. He was with his third team in three seasons in 1969, and he didn't stay long in Montreal. The Cardinals picked him and his 1-6 record up in a June trade. He did much better for the Redbirds, going 7-5.

#307 - Gary Kolb
Kolb came to the majors with the Cardinals as a 20 year old hot shot rookie. But he never lived up to his promise and was bouced around between the Cardinals, Braves, Mets (he's in a Met's uniform in the picture) and finally the Pirates. 1969 was his final big league season. A .081 batting average in 37 at bats will usually end a career.

#308 - Wade Blasingame
Wade is shown in a Braves uniform, and was traded to the Astros during the 1967 season. He spent most of the '69 season working out of the pen and was 0-5 with a 5.37 ERA. Yet he stuck around with the Astros for a couple more seasons.

#309 - Walt Williams
Great nickname number two, No-Neck. One look at the card and you know exactly where that name came from. He was a fan-favorite with the Sox, a guy who played hard and had some pop despite his 5'6" frame.
As a Cubs fan, it was my duty to not like any of the Sox players, but I made an exception for No-Neck. In 1969 he played in a career-highs in games. 135 and batting average, .304.

#310 - Tom Haller
Haller is obviously not in a Dodger uniform, but is wearing a Giants uni. Topps didn't have to do any airbrushing since they shot him in the catchers pose with the backwards hat. Today they would have photoshopped the hat and his sleeves blue and voila, instant Dodger. He was an All-Star for the Dodgers in 1968, his first season with LA and his third straight- All-Star game. But 1969 saw the beginning of a gradual decline for Haller and by 1970 he had lost his starting job.

Overall Set Totals (player cards only)
Hall of Famers - 19
Hatless - 66
Airbrush - 71
Cubs (includes past, present, or future) - 46


  1. I'll bet Dodger fans were rankled to see one of their guys in a Giant uniform.

    I didn't realize Topps used such old pictures in the 1969 cards. I can see (in a pinch) using a 1-2 year old picture, but five years old? Yikes!

  2. Cito Gaston what the Padres last pick in the expansion draft and he turned out to be one of their better players. As the story goes, the Padres let a reporter make the selection.

  3. Walt Williams is my new favorite old-time ball player! Go Walt!

  4. Gary Kolb has quite the jawline. He wouldn't look out of place on Mount Rushmore!

  5. After the 1972 season, Haller was traded from the Tigers to the Phillies (so the Phils would have someone to mentor rookie catcher Bob Boone) but Haller wanted no parts of the Phillies, and chose to retire.

  6. Pagliaroni is wearing a Pirates uniform on his card, which is why there's no hat. I guess Topps couldn't find the time to get 1 photo during the 1968 season (much like Woody Fryman's 1969 card!)

  7. re Cal Koonce:

    "...after going back and forth between the Cubs and the minors for several seasons, he was sold to the Mets in August, 1967."

    What's the difference between the minors and the 1967 Mets?